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Indepth Arts News:

"The Artists of Gugging"
2003-06-06 until 2003-07-12
Judy A Saslow Gallery
Chicago, IL, USA United States of America

"Gugging" is the abbreviated way of referring to the "Haus der Künstler" (House of Artists) located at a Lower Austrian Psychiatric Hospital in the hamlet of Gugging, outside of Vienna. Founded by Dr. Leo Navratil, The Haus der Künstler evolved from his observations that art produced by certain of his patients far exceeded the qualitative parameters of traditional art-therapy. These artists, selected by Navratil with help from local museum officials and artists, began to show publicly in the 1970s. Subsequently, work by Gugging artists were exhibited frequently in galleries and museums.

In 1981, Navratil founded "The Center for Art and Psychotherapy" where he invited many of these talented patients to live and work together in one house. In 1986, Navratil retired and Dr. Johann Feilacher became his successor. Dr. Feilacher changed the name to the "House of Artists", showing his personal belief in emphasizing art versus therapy. In 1990 the "Gugging Artists" were awarded the Oskar Kokoschka prize for their contribution to contemporary art. Their work has been shown in more than 200 exhibitions in museums and galleries from New York to Tokyo. They are considered among the most celebrated artists in the field of Art Brut.

Gugging artists included in this exhibition are Johann Fischer, Johann Garber, Franz Kamlander, Franz Kernbeis, Johann Korec, Heinrich Reisenbauer, Arnold Schmidt, Günter Schützenhöfer (Gugging’s newest artist), Oswald Tschirtner and August Walla. Many of the artists featured in this exhibition are part of "ABCD: A Collection of Art Brut" at the Chicago Cultural Center, as well as an exhibition at Intuit focusing on the classic Gugging artists.

IMAGE
Oswald Tschirtner


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